Ranking the biggest threats to Giannis Antetokounmpo’s third MVP award

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 30: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 30: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo. Memphis Grizzlies: Ja Morant
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JANUARY 19: (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

Biggest threats to Giannis Antetokounmpo’s third MVP – #4: Ja Morant

If there’s a more fun and electrifying player in the league than Ja Morant this season, then I haven’t seen them. He’s been the driving force (offensively) behind the Memphis Grizzlies’ tremendous season.

Morant has clearly made the leap into being a full-fledged superstar in this league and his numbers back that up. In 40 games, the 22-year-old is averaging 26.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 6.8 assists, and 1.3 steals.

Those are fantastic, but they aren’t the gaudy numbers that the others around him in the MVP conversation have. Part of his case is that the Grizzlies have shocked the NBA world and have played above and beyond even the biggest optimist’s expectations.

But because Morant carries such a heavy offensive burden for the Grizzlies, that does affect his defense as well. He takes plays off and that has to factor into his MVP candidacy when you’re splitting hairs among the best players in the world.

Biggest threats to Giannis Antetokounmpo’s third MVP – #3: Steph Curry

For all of the hand-wringing and concern around one of Steph Curry‘s biggest shooting slumps in his career, he’s still an MVP candidate. His track record is enough that you trust he can find his stroke again and get right back to the front of the race.

Curry started the year on fire and a lot of folks wanted to close the book on the MVP discussion early. I regret to inform those same folks: that’s not how an 82-game season works! I’m as shocked as you, trust me.

Still, the two-time MVP is averaging 26.0 points on 58.6 percent true shooting, 5.5 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 1.5 steals. The Golden State Warriors are one of the true contenders for the NBA championship and a lot of that is because of Curry.

Curry’s case would really fall off though if he can’t bust out of this slump, though. I mean, he’s shooting 34 percent on 12 attempts from 3 in his last 24 games. That’s worse than Morant’s 3-point shooting numbers!